House panel okays bill amending law to include online violence vs. women, children
The House committee on women and gender equality on Wednesday approved a measure amending the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children law by including offenses committed using social media platforms or electronic violence.
The still unnumbered substitute bill defines electronic violence or ICE-related violence as any act or omission involving the use or exploitation of data or any form of information and communications technology which causes or is likely to cause mental, emotional, or psychological distress or suffering to the woman and/or her children.
The bill said electronic VAWC would specifically includes the following instances:
- unauthorized recording, reproduction, distribution, use, sharing, or uploading of any photograph, video, or other forms of electronic and/or artistic presentation showing or depicting in any form of her children's genitalia, pubic area, buttocks, breasts, excretory body part or function, nudity, scenes with sexual context or portrayal of sexual conduct such as sexual intercourse, masturbation, kissing, caressing, hugging, and petting;
- unauthorized recording, reproduction, distribution, use, sharing or uploading of any photograph, video, or other forms of electronic and/or artistic presentation exhibiting any sexually-related verbal or nonverbal expression or gesture of the woman and/or her children which may be construed as lewd, indecent, or obscene;
- unauthorized recording, reproduction, distribution, use, sharing or uploading of any photograph, video, or any other form of electronic and/or artistic presentation depicting any purported violent or errant behavior of the woman and her children, or the use of intoxicating or prohibited substances or drugs;
- any similar recording, reproduction, distribution, use, sharing or uploading of any audio presentation and data, including sound clips of the same nature
- unauthorized use of a photograph, video, voice recording, name or any mark, reference or character identifiable with a woman and/or her children and suggestive of a wrongdoing, conduct or attribute that tends to besmirch the reputation of the woman and/or her children;
- harassing, intimidating, coercing, threatening, or vilifying the woman and/or her children through text messaging or other cyber, electronic, or multimedia technology;
- stalking, including the hacking of personal accounts on social networking sites and the use of location data from electronic devices;
- fabrication of fake information or news through text messaging or other cyber, electronic or multimedia technology; and
- creation of fake social media accounts using an alias or a different individual's personal information with ill intent and malice, to sow intrigue or inflict harm.
Moreover, the bill amends the VAWC law’s psychological violence provision by stating that it would include acts or omissions that may be committed through physical, verbal, emotional, electronic or information communication technology (ICT)-related means or other means causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of a woman and/or her children such as intimidation, harassment, stalking, damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, verbal abuse and marital infidelity.
The psychological violence under the proposed bill also includes the act of causing or coercing a woman and/or her children to witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a member of the family to which the woman and her children belong, or to witness pornography in any form or to witness abusive injury to pets or to unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of common children.
“Due to the rapid spread of mobile information, the increasing use of social media, and the increased reach of the internet, electronic violence against women has emerged as a major global issue with potentially troubling economic and societal consequences. n this growing technology-dependent society, it is our beholden duty to also update our laws to address the fast-changing realities and means of committing crimes,” House Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas, one of the authors of the measure, said in her explanatory note.
“In this light, we believe that the proposed amendments to RA 9262 are necessary,” she added.
Marikina City Representative Marjorie Teodoro, also one of the authors of the measure, said the new measure will support the 2012 Cybercrime law.
“At this day and age, where the public has much latitude on the use of the internet, it is crucial to put safeguards and restrictions that will keep the exercise of our rights in check. Even online, it is disheartening that women and children remain vulnerable to violence and abuse,” she said.
“This bill specifically identifying and categorizing online violence against women and children in existing laws will facilitate prosecution of offenders and serve as a deterrent against the commission of on1ine violence against women and children,” she added.—AOL, GMA Integrated News